ANDRAGORAS, Seleucid satrap of Parthia and Hyrcania, known primarily from his coins. He presumably revolted against Antiochus II about 245 B.C. His dates of rule are unknown, as is his fate, although the rise of Arsaces I, founder of the Parthian dynasty at the same time may indicate the overthrow of Andragoras by the Parthians, as Justin (41.4.7) indicates. A Greek inscription from Hyrcania (Gorgān), dated earlier than 266 B.C., mentions an Andragoras of lesser rank who may be the same person before he became satrap; the name is rare, occurring elsewhere only in Greek papyri from Ptolemaic Egypt, so the identification of the two is not improbable. Andragoras struck coins in his own name, including gold staters and silver tetradrachms, but the fact that they lack any title may indicate a continuing nominal allegiance to the Seleucids rather than a full break with them. Justin (12.4.12) wrote that Alexander had given the governorship of Parthia to a noble Persian named Andragoras. The name is obviously anachronistic, so Ghirshman suggested it was a translation from Persian, probably of Narisanka (Av. Nairyō.saŋha-); Wolski disputes this hypothesis.
R. Ghirshman, “Un tétradrachme d’Andragoras de la collection de M. Foroughi,” in D. Kouymjian, ed., Near Eastern Numismatics, Iconography, Epigraphy and History, Studies in Honor of George C. Miles, Beirut, 1974, pp. 1-8 (for further references to coins).
J. Wolski, “Le problème d’Andragoras,” Serta Kazaroviana Ephemerides Instituti Archaeologici Bulgarici 16, 1950, pp. 13-16.
Idem, “Andragoras était-il iranien ou grec,” Stud. Ir. 4/2, 1975, pp. 159-69.
D. Bivar in Camb. Hist. Iran III, pp. 28f., 186f.
(R. N. Frye)
Originally Published: December 15, 1985
Last Updated: August 3, 2011
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Vol. II, Fasc. 1, p. 26